« PreviousContinue »
Praise ye the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights. Praise ye Him all his angels; praise ye Him all his hòsts. Mountains, and all hills ; fruitful trees, and all cedàrs.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
He called so loud, that all the hollow deep
Awake, arisè, or be for ever fallen!"
IV. The language of irony is uttered with the circumflex; sometimes, with the falling inflection :
And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud ; for he is a God: either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is on a journey ; or peradventure, he sleepèth, and must be awàked.
-- Courăgeous chief,
Thou surely hadst not come sõle fugitive.
V. The termination of a sentence, and of each independent member of it, is commonly marked with the falling slide :
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and vòid ; and darkness was on the face of the deep: and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Look through all the ranks of mankừnd; examine the condition of those who are most prosperous ; and you will find they are never just what they desire to be. If retired, they languish for actiòn ; if busy, they complain of fatigue. If in middle life, they are impatient for distinction; if in high station, they sigh after freedom and ease.
The falling inflection must not be confounded with that sinking of the voice below the general pitch, which is called cadence :
I care not if it be affirmed by you, by all the wòrld, by an angel from hèaven.
Here, the downward slide is very marked on the word heaven, which, nevertheless, is uttered on a higher key than any other in the sentence.
In the following passage, there is cadence without inflection :
Cold, fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
Sometimes both cadence and inflection are heard on the final word:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel than that we have preached unto you, let hir: be accursed.
VI. The closing pause is frequently marked by the rising inflection :
Then said Agrippa unto Festus, 'This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Cæsár.
Whence arises the misery of this present world ? It is not owing to our cloudy atmosphere, our changing seasons, our inclement skiés. It is not owing to the debility of our bodiès, or to the unequal distribution of the goods of fortune.
The Mexican figures, or picture-writing, represent things, not words; they exhibit images to the èye, not ideas to the understanding
Ingratitude is therefore a species of injustice, said Socrates. I should think so, answered Leandér.
Cassius. What night is this?
I have very poor brains for drinking ; I could well wish courtesy had invented some other custom of entertainment.
If we observe persons in animated conversation, or extempore public speaking, we shall perceive a constant variety in the manner of closing their periods, very unlike the monotonous cadence, with which almost every body reads. This variety, which is unquestionably dictated by nature, should be studied by all who aspire to pleasing and natural elocution.
Emphasis. I. By emphasis is meant a forcible stress, and particular inflection of voice upon some word or words in a sentence, on account of their significancy and importance.
It has been divided into superior and inferior emphasis. “ The superior emphasis determines the meaning of a sentence, with reference to something said before, or removes an ambiguity, where a passage may have more meanings than one.
“The inferior emphasis, enforces, graces, and enlivens, but does not fix the meaning of any passage.”
I did not say he struck me. If the emphasis be placed on different words succes. sively, the sense will be varied in every instance :
I did not say he struck mé.
I did not say he struck me.
OTHER EXAMPLES FOR PRACTICE.
This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Cæsar.
I thought you would not remember me.
II. The more ordinary office of emphasis is, to give vivacity or point to a sentiment, and add force to an assertion or an argument:
Shall I reward his services with falsehood ?
A dày, an hour of virtuous liberty
-Had she been true,
I'd not exchange her for it. Better is a dinner of herbs, where love is, than a stalled òx and hătred therewith.
The poor beetle that we tread upon,
As when a giànt dies. I shall straight conduct you to a hill-side, where I will point you out the right path of a virtuous and noble education ; laborious indeed at the first ascent, but else so smooth, so gréen, so full of goodly prospect, and melodious sounds on every síde, that the harp of Orpheùs was not more charming.
'Tis not in follù not to scorn a fool,
And scarce in human wisdom to do mòre.
It is not so easy to hide one's faults as to mend them.
And this to mé, he said,
To cleave the Douglas' heàd.
But in oursèlves, that we are underlings. Honorable age is not that which standeth in length of time; nor that which is measured by number of years : but wisdòm is the gray hair unto mán, and an unspotied life is old age.
He that planted the car, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall not he sće?
III. Emphasis sometimes becomes intensive, especially in passages which are cumulative, or rise into a climax. In such cases, the voice rises in pitch, increases in stress, and slides through a larger interval, at each successive stroke of emphasis :
What is time?
Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,
But Paul said, They have beatèn us openly, uncondèmned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison ; and now do they thrust us out privily? Nay, verily; but let them come themselves, and fetch us out. .“ That God and nature have put into our hands!" I know not what ideas that lord may entertain of God, and